When Christ shall cease His work as mediator in man's behalf, then this time of trouble will begin. Then the case of every soul will have been decided, and there will be no atoning blood to cleanse from sin. When Jesus leaves His position as man's intercessor before God the solemn announcement is made, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). Then the restraining Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth.--PP 201 (1890).
God's People Are Prepared for the Trying Hour Before Them
When the third angel's message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth.
The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received "the latter rain," "the refreshing from the presence of the Lord," and they are prepared for the trying hour before them.
Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received "the seal of the living God." Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. . . . Christ has made the atonement for His people, and blotted out their sins. The number of His subjects is made up; "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven," is about to be given to the heirs of salvation, and Jesus is to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.--GC 613, 614 (1911).
Terrible Beyond Comprehension
The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger--a faith that will not faint, though severely tried. . . .
The "time of trouble such as never was," is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess, and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal.--GC 621, 622 (1911).
When Jesus leaves the most holy His restraining Spirit is withdrawn from rulers and people. They are left to the control of evil angels. Then such laws will be made by the counsel and direction of Satan that, unless time should be very short, no flesh could be saved.--1T 204 (1859).
Many Laid to Rest Before Time of Trouble
It is not always safe to ask for unconditional healing. . . . He knows whether or not those for whom petitions are offered would be able to endure the trial and test that would come upon them if they lived. He knows the end from the beginning. Many will be laid away to sleep before the fiery ordeal of the time of trouble shall come upon our world.--CH 375 (1897).
The Lord has often instructed me that many little ones are to be laid away before the time of trouble. We shall see our children again. We shall meet them and know them in the heavenly courts.--2SM 259 (1899).
Satan's Goal: Destroy All Sabbathkeepers
Says the great deceiver: . . . "Our principal concern is to silence this sect of Sabbathkeepers. . . . We will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority."--TM 472, 473 (1884).
It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed.--TM 37 (1893).
The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects. He has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God.--9T 231 (1909).
Arguments Used Against God's People
I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgements of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed.--EW 36 (1851).
When the angel of mercy folds her wings and departs Satan will do the evil deeds he has long wished to do. Storm and tempest, war and bloodshed--in these things he delights, and thus he gathers in his harvest. And so completely will men be deceived by him that they will declare that these calamities are the result of the desecration of the first day of the week. From the pulpits of the popular churches will be heard the statement that the world is being punished because Sunday is not honoured as it should be.--RH Sept. 17, 1901.
It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state, ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument eighteen hundred years ago was brought against Christ by the "rulers of the people." . . . This argument will appear conclusive.--GC 615 (1911).
Death for All Who Do Not Honour Sunday
A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance.--EW 36, 37 (1851).
As Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed, so a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death. . . . Let all read carefully the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, for it concerns every human agent, great and small.--14MR 91 (1896).
The time of trouble is about to come upon the people of God. Then it is that the decree will go forth forbidding those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord to buy or sell, and threatening them with punishment, and even death, if they do not observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath.--HP 344 (1908).
The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that "all, both
small and great, rich and poor, free and bond" (Rev. 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death.--GC 604 (1911).
Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.--PK 512 (c. 1914).
Death Decree Similar to That Issued by Ahasuerus
The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God's people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.--PK 605 (c. 1914).
I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time, to put them to death.--EW 282, 283 (1858).
If the people of God will put their trust in Him and by faith rely upon His power, the devices of Satan will be defeated in our time as signally as in the days of Mordecai.--ST Feb. 22, 1910.
The Remnant Make God Their Defence
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" [Dan. 12:1]. When this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent. The seal of the living God is upon His people.
This small remnant, unable to defend themselves in the deadly conflict with the powers of earth that are marshalled by the dragon host, make God their defence. The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death. May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance!--5T 212, 213 (1882).
God's People Flee the Cities; Many Imprisoned
As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government, and abandon
them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. . . . But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons.--GC 626 (1911).
Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavour to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.--GC 631 (1911).
The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself.--4BC 1143 (1908).
The faith of individual members of the church will be tested as though there were not another person in the world.--7BC 983 (1890).
Houses and Lands of No Use
Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. . . .
I saw that if any held on to their property, and did not inquire of the Lord as to their duty, He would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able. . . . But if they desired to be taught, He would teach them, in a time of need, when to sell and how much to sell.--EW 56, 57 (1851).
It is too late now to cling to worldly treasures. Soon unnecessary houses and lands will be of no benefit to anyone, for the curse of God will rest more and more heavily upon the earth. The call comes, "Sell that ye have, and give alms" [Luke 12:33]. This message should be faithfully borne--urged home to the hearts of the people--that God's own property may be returned to Him in offerings to advance His work in the world.--16MR 348 (1901).
Like the Time of Jacob's Trouble
A decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment,
denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment, and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World, and apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course toward those who honour all the divine precepts. The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob's trouble.--GC 615, 616 (1911).
To human sight it will appear that the people of God must soon seal their testimony with their blood, as did the martyrs before them. They themselves begin to fear that the Lord has left them to fall by the hand of their enemies. It is a time of fearful agony. Day and night they cry unto God for deliverance. . . .
Like Jacob, all are wrestling with God. Their countenances express their internal struggle. Paleness sits upon every face. Yet they cease not their earnest intercession.--GC 630 (1911). Jacob's experience during that night of wrestling and anguish represents the trial through which the people of God must pass just before Christ's second coming. The prophet Jeremiah, in holy vision looking down to this time, said, "We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. . . . All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it" (Jer. 30:5-7).--PP 201 (1890).
The Righteous Have No Concealed Wrongs to Reveal
In the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins have gone beforehand to judgement, and have been blotted out; and they cannot bring them to remembrance.--GC 620 (1911).
God's people . . . will have a deep sense of their shortcomings, and as they review their lives their hopes will sink. But remembering the greatness of God's mercy, and their own sincere repentance, they will plead His promises made through Christ to helpless, repenting sinners. Their faith will not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered. They will lay hold of the strength of God, as Jacob laid hold of the Angel, and the language of their souls will be, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me."--PP 202 (1890).
The Saints Will Not Lose Their Lives
God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation, and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark. I saw that if the wicked were permitted to slay the saints, Satan and all his evil host, and all who hate
God, would be gratified. And oh, what a triumph it would be for his satanic majesty, to have power, in the last closing struggle, over those who had so long waited to behold Him whom they loved! Those who have mocked at the idea of the saints' going up will witness the care of God for His people, and behold their glorious deliverance.--EW 284 (1858).
The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation, and suffer for want of food, they will not be left to perish.--GC 629 (1911).
If the blood of Christ's faithful witnesses were shed at this time, it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed sown to yield a harvest for God.--GC 634 (1911).
God Will Provide
The Lord has shown me repeatedly that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands, and strangers would reap their fields.
Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water will be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger, for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary He would send ravens
to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites.--EW 56 (1851).
I saw that a time of trouble was before us, when stern necessity will compel the people of God to live on bread and water. . . . In the time of trouble none will labour with their hands. Their sufferings will be mental, and God will provide food for them.--Ms 2, 1858.
The time of trouble is just before us, and then stern necessity will require the people of God to deny self and to eat merely enough to sustain life, but God will prepare us for that time. In that fearful hour our necessity will be God's opportunity to impart His strengthening power and to sustain His people.--1T 206 (1859).
Bread and water is all that is promised to the remnant in the time of trouble.--SR 129 (1870).
In the time of trouble, just before the coming of Christ, the righteous will be preserved through the ministration of heavenly angels.--PP 256 (1890).
No Intercessor, but Constant Communion With Christ
Christ has made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The number of His subjects is made up. . . .
When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the
righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor.--GC 613, 614 (1911).
Will the Lord forget His people in this trying hour? . . . Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers, and angels will come to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven. The prison will be as a palace, for the rich in faith dwell there, and the gloomy walls will be lighted up with heavenly light as when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises at midnight in the Philippian dungeon.--GC 626, 627 (1911). Could men see with heavenly vision, they would behold companies of angels that excel in strength stationed about those who have kept the word of Christ's patience. With sympathising tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress and have heard their prayers. They are waiting the word of their Commander to snatch them from their peril. . . . The precious Saviour will send help just when we need it.--GC 630, 633 (1911).
It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. . . .
In the midst of the time of trouble that is coming--a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation--God's chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his host cannot destroy them, for angels that excel in strength will protect them.--9T 16, 17 (1909).
God's People Cherish No Sinful Desires
Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." (John 14:30). Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.--GC 623 (1911).
The Battle Against Self Continues
So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience.--AA 560, 561 (1911).
Constant war against the carnal mind must be maintained; and we must be aided by the refining influence of the grace of God, which will attract the mind upward and habituate it to meditate upon pure and holy things.--2T 479 (1870).
We may create an unreal world in our own mind or picture an ideal church, where the temptations of Satan no longer prompt to evil; but perfection exists only in our imagination.--RH Aug. 8, 1893.
When human beings receive holy flesh, they will not remain on the earth, but will be taken to heaven. While sin is forgiven in this life, its results are not now wholly removed. It is at His coming that Christ is to "change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body."--2SM 33 (1901).
They sing "a new song" before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb--a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song, for it is the song of their experience--an experience such as no other company have ever had. "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as "the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb" (Rev. 15:2, 3; 14:1-5.) "These are they which came out of great tribulation"; they have
passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgements.--GC 648, 649 (1911).
It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as, Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand? This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question.--1SM 174 (1901).
God's People Delivered
Satan's host and wicked men will surround them and exult over them because there will seem to be no way of escape for them. But in the midst of their revelry and triumph there is heard peal upon peal of the loudest thunder. The heavens have gathered blackness, and are only illuminated by the blazing light and terrible glory from heaven, as God utters His voice from His holy habitation.
The foundations of the earth shake, buildings totter and fall with a terrible crash. The sea boils like a pot and the whole earth is in terrible commotion. The captivity of the righteous is turned, and with sweet and solemn whisperings they say to one another: "We are delivered. It is the voice of God."--1T 353, 354 (1862).
When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honour the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for
their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof.
The people of God--some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains--still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. . . . With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. . . .
It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. . . . In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying, "It is done" (Rev. 16:17). That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. . . .
The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world's great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God's people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free.--GC 635-637 (1911).